Just as our bodies need clean air to function properly, your SUV engine needs clean air to operate efficiently. Let’s go egghead for a minute. For every gallon of gas we burn driving on Michigan freeways, twenty pounds of carbon dioxide comes out the tailpipe. Question: how can a gallon of gas that weighs a little over six pounds produce twenty pounds of carbon dioxide?
The answer is that the carbon comes from the gasoline, but the oxygen comes from the air. You see, it takes about twelve thousand gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. Clearly, your SUV needs a lot of air to keep going. A lot of clean air is best.
You’ve seen the pictures of people in Japan wearing face masks. They want some kind of filter to keep unwanted pollution and germs out of their lungs. Well, your SUV also works better when its internals are clean. When your SUV air filter’s dirty, it simply can’t trap any more dirt, so the pollutants just pass through into your air intake system. From there it can clog your fuel injectors and even get into the motor itself. Not surprisingly, burning dust and pollen in your SUV engine does you no good.
So, we’re talking potential damage for Michigan drivers. But another big thing is wasted fuel. Your SUV engine management computer tries to mix the correct amount of air in with the fuel. If the filter’s clogged, there isn’t enough air for the optimal fuel to air mix and that really messes with gas mileage.
The verdict: When your SUV engine air filter needs to be replaced; it needs to be replaced. How often depends entirely on the level of air pollution where you drive in Michigan.
When you look at the air filter on your furnace at home and see it’s all clogged up with dust and dirt, you don’t hesitate to replace it. When your technician shows you your nasty engine air filter, you now know why you should go ahead and replace it.